From Louis Vuitton to Tory Burch, more and more brands are devoting their time to producing fashion sustainably. For luxury brands, leather is a major roadblock in operating viably. Attempts at developing leather alternatives are pivotal, considering the environmental impacts of traditional leather production. However, vegan leather production consumes high levels of plastic and water, which ends up posing its own environmental challenges. Every substitute has been ridiculed and criticized— until Stella McCartney launched Mirum products.
Source: Stella McCartney
McCartney's infamous bags and shoes have always been made with genuine leather. In fact, all of her leather products were made from animal hide, emitting CO2 and contributing to deforestation. A recent statement made by the brand committed to using 100% ethical materials by 2025. This came to fruition in multiple ways, when they switched to recyclable packaging used fabrics. But the most notable is their incorporation of Mirum leather.
Mirum is a plastic-free, fossil fuel-free, and water-free option which replaces authentic leather. The material was created by NFW, a tech company committed to using circular natural resources. Made out of disintegratable cotton, Mirum looks and feels like the real deal, but its production has no negative effects on the environment. It is the first of its kind— the only faux leather to be 100% biodegradable. Mirum leather does not need to be tanned, a process that is detrimental to the Earth because of its abundant chemical use.
The base of the leather is made with cotton, rubber, and biochar to create a thick shield and fabric. Plant-based resin is then layered on top to ensure the leather's strength and also make it water-resistant. With this natural layering process comes a seamless, yet durable leather-like texture. Mirum is bendable but still has leather's sturdy qualities. Stella McCartney is the first fashion house to use this leather, making it a trailblazer in the industry.
While discussing the mission of her Winter 2023 show, McCartney put emphasis on the brand's dedication to sustainability. When talking about Mirum, Stella said “I have long dreamed of the day when we would see a plant-based alternative to leather that does not kill a single creature and can be easily given back to Mother Earth, without creating waste. There is no compromise on desirability or durability; the future of fashion has arrived.”
Source: Stella McCartney
The classic Falabella Tote Bag ($895 - $1,095) created in 2010 has been the brand's staple product, recognizable by any fashion connoisseur. Its original form uses an abundance of real leather, making it a luxury and quality bag. McCartney's passion for the planet often clashes with her enthusiasm for luxury fashion. When she discovered Mirum, she knew the first product to incorporate the fabric would be her iconic Falabella Mirum Tiny Tote Bag ($1,170). With two colorways, Black and Brandy, there is no wrong way to go when purchasing this purse.
For now, this is the only piece that is produced with Mirum in Stella's collections. However, with her pact to be 100% sustainable by 2025, there is no doubt that Mirum will be incorporated into the rest of the company's products. More importantly, Stella McCartney's vast influence and sheer talent will push other luxury brands to promote a clean Earth. To Stella, this is only the beginning.